Computer Software Engineer: Schooling and Job Training Requirements for Becoming a Computer Software Engineer

Published Sep 09, 2009

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If the idea of combining math, analytics and engineering with a little computer science appeals to you, a career as a Computer Software Engineer might be ideal. The use of computer technology is growing along with the demand for competent Software Engineers who can keep abreast of the latest in changing technologies. The following article is a summary of the schooling and job training requirements you will need to become a Computer Software Engineer.

Computer Software Engineer Career Summary

Computer Software Engineers combine math and engineering concepts with computer science to design and develop programs that allow computers to function. They create games, word processors and spreadsheets, operating systems and complex business software packages. There are two basic types of Computer Software Engineers.

Applications Software Engineers start with a basic user need, such as tracking inventory, and develop a set of instruction for the computer to follow to fulfill this need. Systems Software Engineers develop programs that allow computers or different programs to function with one another. For example, an order tracking program may need to coordinate with the inventory tracking program.

Schooling Required to Become a Computer Software Engineer

Most Computer Software Engineers have a bachelor's degree in computer science, information systems, software engineering or a similar area. More complex jobs might require a graduate degree. Computer Software Engineers need knowledge of operating systems and hardware as well as programming languages, such as C++ and Java. Education programs usually include coursework in math, software development, computer science, software architecture, software testing and systems analysis.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Computer Software Engineer

Many students participate in internships during their degree programs allowing them to gain hands-on training before formally entering the work force. Other Computer Software Engineers start in entry-level positions where they can learn from more experienced engineers. Some larger companies offer intense training programs for new employees. Certification is not a requirement.

However, several vendors, such as Microsoft,, and Sun Microsystems,, offer certifications that might improve an engineer's employment options. Continuing education and professional development are essential in this field as technology changes.

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